Stories from Planned Parenthood

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Dear Supermoms,

I was planning to release a podcast called “How to prioritize when you are pulled in multiple directions.” I’m going to put that one out next week instead because I have been so affected by the overturning of Roe vs. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court that I created a special episode for you this week.

Although I consider myself “politically fluid”, I am VERY pro-kid, pro-mom and pro-choice. Motherhood is hard enough that no one should enter into it without feeling up to the task and having loads of support.

I trust moms to make decisions that have children’s best interest at heart. Continuing or terminating a pregnancy should not be a sacred decision between a woman and her state legislature.

I never thought this would happen because in the years I worked at Planned Parenthood, it was the wives and daughters of judges and senators that were the ones taking advantage of our abortion services.

People are often surprised to learn that by and large, in my 3 years experience working in the capital city of California, the poor and disadvantaged were more likely to continue their pregnancies while the educated and advantaged young women were more likely to terminate. This supports the research that says the number one way to prevent teen pregnancy is to have aspirations for the future. When a girl is looking at her future but doesn’t have a clear vision she is excited about, she is more likely to step into the future fate has provided for her. When a girl has plans and a vision for her future, and pregnancy disrupts those plans, she is more likely to terminate.

This episode is not to try to convince you to be pro-choice, or support Planned Parenthood, but I wanted to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work inside a Planned Parenthood clinic. I keep thinking about these women and wanting to share their stories with you to put a personal face on this legal decision that has been made. I think everyone should work in a Planned Parenthood clinic for one week to expand the mind and heart by stepping into the shoes of others.

I don’t know about you, but I find voting to be difficult when I don’t have personal experience and I want to make an educated decision. I’m hoping a few stories about the women I met will give you more insight than you had yesterday.

In my 20’s, I worked for Planned Parenthood as a Reproductive Health Specialist and a peri-natal coordinator. The clinics I worked at didn’t perform abortions, we just did pelvic exams, pregnancy tests, STD/HIV tests, tubal ligation and vasectomy counseling and discussed birth control options.

I worked with the women who chose to continue their pregnancy to make sure they had access to adequate nutrition, housing, transportation, and all the things they needed to care for a newborn. We talked about the dangers of drugs and alcohol on an unborn fetus, and the benefits of regular medical care. We checked for anemia, gestational diabetes, and made sure they knew where to go to deliver the baby and to secure a car seat so they could bring the baby home from the hospital.

This is the button I wore on my backpack throughout college. I did not think I would still be fighting decades later.Here are stories of 7 young women who stand out that I will never forget:

13 year old margarita girl
Mom of 3 college students
Woman with infertility
Abused with no place to go
Numbed out teens
Depressed refugee
Daughter of a minister

Maybe if you hear these stories, you will care about these women, too.

I hope that we as a country can still provide a place factual and unbiased information, helpful decision making skills, safe, quality medical care, and a warm, loving environment with women who will care about you and your child.

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Quote of the Day:

“The argument was it’s her right to decide either way, her right to decide whether or not to bear a child … This is something central to a woman’s life, to her dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. And when the government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a full adult human responsible for her own choices.”   Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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